Searching for Johnny

Searching for Johnny

80 min - Documentary - 2009 (USA, Slovenia)



Written and directed by Miroslav Mandić

Cast: Bill Jones, Hank Ruppertsberger, John Kolling

Produced by
Miroslav Mandić / producer
Eleanor Infante / associate producer
Molly Radecki / associate producer

Original Music by Clair Marlo
Cinematography by Miroslav Mandić, Ales Nadai
Film Editing by Eleanor Infante
Post-production coordinator: Amanda Archibald
Special thanks: Stuart Manashil


Johnny Appleseed was a pioneer closely connected with nature, a missionary inspired by Swedenborg's visions and a nurseryman who prepared land for colonists. Predicting directions in which the newcomers would settle, he moved barefoot and unarmed through the Indian land. The natives thought of him as one of their own and called him a medicine man. But what happened when there was not enough space for both the Indians and the settlers?

Bill Jones, a fund development consultant, has spent fifteen years building an amphitheater in the Ohio wilderness, in order to put on a play about Johnny's life. Hank Ruppertsberger, a New Hampshire high school principal, spent a summer walking from Massachusetts to Indiana, along the Appleseed trails. As a young processing engineer at a Silicon Valley company, John Kolling decided to quit it all and grow apples.

While following their stories, we learn about our main character - however controversial, it turns out that Johnny Appleseed was an entrepreneur and a visionary.